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Headphone Interference: Problem Solved (workaround guide)

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Headphone Interference: Problem Solved (workaround guide)

by HandSlander » January 10th, 2016, 12:23 pm

While we all love the Vision, there are a few design faults on this ambitious device. One of the obvious ones is that the 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom of the tablet has a fairly obvious interference issue, which becomes more apparent at high volumes.

There are three easy workarounds for a headphone interference issue for all windows computers/laptops/tablets.

Background
The workarounds stem from the issue that the Vision is outputting an analog signal (hence you are connecting an analog 3.5mm cable), and analog outputs are usually subject to some form of interference due to the current running through the circuit or poor quality DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) in the device. I'm not sure what the problem is here but it will be nigh on impossible to clean the analog signal coming through the jack without re-engineering the device.

So we need to bypass the analog output signal/onboard DAC and capture the digital output.

Option 1)
- Install a 3rd party USB soundcard. There are many options, but these soundcards receive the digital audio output (1s and 0s) from the device and use their own onboard DAC to convert to convert to a 3.5mm audio output free from major interference. Generally the more expensive the soundcard the more features, better quality and better SNR (Signal to Noise Ratio)/noise floor you will get.
- I own an Asus Xonar U3 which is pretty cheap (£20) and also offers virtual surround sound. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asus-Xonaru3-Mo ... B004ZI5E1S

Option 2)
- Some headphones connect via USB, and therefore receive Digital rather than Analog outputs from the device, and in this case have built-in DACs which should eliminate the problem. Razer, Corsair and Steelseries are a few manufacturers that come to mind which have high quality USB headsets.
- In my case I also own a pair of Steelseries Siberia V2 Frost Blue headphones http://www.amazon.co.uk/SteelSeries-Sib ... headset+v2

Option 3)
- Bluetooth speakers/headphones connect to the device digitally and should fix the problem also.
- The downside to this option is (a) the expense of bluetooth headphones (b) batteries required for headphones (c) increased battery drain on the Vision. However the upside is it works while the Dock is connected and won't hog the USB port.

Requirements:
- In order to connect either headphones or a soundcard via USB you will need a USB OTG connector. These are cheap (< £5) and easy to find http://www.amazon.co.uk/aLLreLi-LIFETIM ... B0064GZAIQ
- However, they may not fit when in dock mode unless you have an extender given the narrow USB port opening in the dock.

Testing:
- I loaded up YouTube and put on a music video with my normal headphones plugged into the regular jack
- Straight away when cranking up the volume (before playing the vid) there is obvious interference. Once playing the video, the sound quality is OK but you can still hear the interference vaguely in the background, especially at quiet parts.
- I connected my OTG USB cable and plugged in Asus Xonar U3 while playing the music video, and I didn't install any drivers. Straight away sound cut-out from the regular jack. I took the headphones off and switched the headphones to the U3 - the sound output was VERY LOUD and I had to crank it right down before putting on the headphones. Once on, the music sounded great. I turned the music off and cranked up the volume - all GOOD - no interference! However, I would suggest installing the drivers to fix teh volume issue as it was only quiet enough at under 10/100.
- Unplugged the U3 and the sound started coming out of the main jack automatically. I then plugged in my Siberia V2's to the USB OTG cable and again it switched automatically to the USB headphones.
- The V2's sounded fantastic, the volume scaled properly and all interference was gone.

Conclusion
- Using a USB-connected soundcard/headphones via the USB port and an OTG cable is a 100% failsafe solution for fixing the sound interference issue.
- However, my OTG cable did not fit in the port with the dock connected. You could always use the included USB cable and a male to female USB adapter instead but the USB charging cable is quite unnecessarily long for this purpose.
- Also, with USB connected you won't be able to charge the device at the same time.

Let me know you success stories implementing this workaround.
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Linx Tablet: Linx Vision
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Windows Version: Windows 10 Home

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Re: Headphone Interference: Problem Solved (workaround guide

by billybob » July 7th, 2017, 5:29 pm

Late Reply - theres now a fix for 3.5mm audio interference listed in this thread: http://linxtablet.co.uk/viewtopic.php?t ... 108#p15108
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Linx Tablet: Linx Vision
Retailer: Argos Refurb
Windows Version: Windows 10 Home


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